Monday, April 28, 2014

Transfered to the other side of Twin

Dear Family and Friends!

I had a really awesome week. Our investigators are finally doing better and things are starting to look up! Sister Ramsey and I had a really fun week. We had an awesome ward party and it was just lovely. Sad news of the week:I am getting transferred:((((( I am staying in Twin, just headed over to the other Stake. My new companion is Sister Nieto and she is really nice. I will officially transfer on Wednesday so I have a few more days to say bye to my people. I am excited for this new adventure, but really sad to be leaving my first area especially when things are starting to happen here, and because I have gotten so close to these people! Also my current area is taking on another ward so we got a car again! but I just found out my new area is a bike area haha. #HeavenlyFatherisrealfunny. Anyways, I know that the Lord has a plan for me and I am leaving for a reason! I just have to trust in that and have faith that there are people who need me somewhere else:)

So this week we had a lot of really awesome lessons! That was our goal, was to have more powerful lessons so that our investigators could feel Spirit and progress. It was really awesome! When you really study and pray for the people, it is incredible how much Heavenly Father helps you and allows them to feel the Spirit. This week was my first talk in Sacrament meeting as a missionary! Bishop Kear called us Saturday and asked us to speak about.....drum roll please.....MEMBER MISSIONARY WORK!!! Didn't see that one coming. #favoritetopic #peoplearesickofhearingaboutit. We didn't really have time to prepare so I was really nervous, but as soon as I got up there, I just started speaking and the words flowed and I could feel the Spirit directing me! I just talked about the ways in which to become a successful member missionary; striving to have the spirit, aquiring humility, loving people and having charity, and opening your mouths. I shared a few experiences and I really felt good about it! Sister Ramsey did awesome as well!!!:) Since I finished the Book of Mormon I have started the new Testament and I am loving it. I shared a story from Matthew chapter 8 about the centurion. The Lord heals him of his sickness even though he didn't feel worthy because of his faith. I was thinking about that and faith. Do we have enough faith to share the Gospel? Do we have enough faith that God will help us? It really just hit me, that Christ is just so ready to bless and forgive and all he asks of us is to obey his commandments and rescue his lost sheep. So the message of the week; HAVE FAITH!!!

We had a ward party this week that we organized. The ward got rid of the activities committee and NEVER has activities and those are the best missionary opportunities where people can invite their friends to something casual. So we just had a simple potluck social and it went really well! A few of our investigators and less actives came. Someone brought a friend who is really interested and so Sister Ramsey and her new companion will start teaching her so that was exciting! And dude, I just LOVE our Bishop and his family. He is a young guy and super funny and just really looks out for us Sisters. His wife is an RM and is just the cutest and always takes good care of us. We were telling them that we are so poor we can't afford healthy food and we are gaining weight, and that night, they show up at our apartments with bags and bags full of fruits and veggies! I just love them. They are taking us roller skating tonight as a goodbye. I will miss them dearly. They have become our home away from home and I am so grateful for them! 

I am just so happy to be here and to be a part of this work! This week was just great and I could just go on and on about it! Thank y'all for all love and support. I will let you know next week how everything is going and how the new area is! Exciting! I hope you all have a great week. Sending my love. 

Sister Bigs

Monday, April 21, 2014

I love to see the temple!

Dear Family and Friends, 

How was everyone's Easter?? Mine was good! Everyday feels the same as a missionary though haha. I really enjoyed church and reflecting on Christ's life and His sacrifice. We didn't even sing any Easter songs at church though. #lame. Anyways our Easter dinner had to cancel. #sadday. I really missed my mommas cooking and being with my family. Nobody seemed to be home yesterday and it was a bit discouraging. But on Saturday night, our Bishop had us over for dinner, dessert, and some Easter fun! We dyed eggs and had an Easter egg hunt. They gave us each a little Easter basket with candy and goodies from Deseret Book. I really appreciated their love and kindness and it felt nice to be a part of a family for the day! Even though the day didn't turn out like we planned, I still just feel so grateful for the knowledge that we have of the Savior and His resurrection so that we may be able to live again one day. :)

This week was okay! I talked about in my last letter how the work has slowed down a little bit and not a whole lot seems to be happening. This week was kind of the same way. There was a lot of drama with investigators and it was really discouraging. It is so hard to watch people you love and care for so much to struggle and to have hard times. There were so many times this week that I found myself on my knees, and that I just wanted to give up so bad and just call it quits. But I won't! It would be so easy to give it all up and let the adversary win. But I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for me and He has so much in store for His children here. As a missionary it is so easy to blame yourself and feel that it is your fault when people aren't progressing. But people have their agency and all we can do is work hard and pray for them and help them as best as we know how. Missions are hard, and that is something people don't tell you before you leave. But I know just like in Section 121 of the Doctrine and Covenants when the Lord is talking to Joseph Smith in Liberty jail He says, "Peace be with you. Thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment, and if thou shall endure them well, I will exalt thee on high, and though shall triumph over all thy foes." I LOVE that scripture and that has brought so much comfort to me. The hard times won't last forever and I know they are all for our learning and benefit to shape us into the faithful Saints that the Lord needs us to be. I will keep moving forward in faith because I know that the Lord will not fail me if I stick it out and I don't give up. I trust in Him and know that everything will work out:)

We had exchanges this week so I was in Rupert on Thursday with Sister Cluff. It was really fun and I really enjoyed going to a new area and meeting new people! We did lots of yard work and it was a beautiful day. I met some really incredible people and I always love learning from a new companion. Rupert is awesome! I feel blessed though because a lot of missionaries cover like 3-7 wards! Crazy stuff! I met this one lady named Patty who is like my soul sister! She is so sweet an just kept holding my hands and telling me she loved me and that I was beautiful. She is going to get baptized this month and is just one of the best people I have ever met! She has an incredible testimony and I loved hearing about her experiences.  It was my first time having 2 dinners #death. Apparently that is a normal thing in Rupert! Haha anyways, so that was really fun! We also had the privilege of going to the temple this week with our district. It was much needed. I just LOVE the temple. We went with our BFF Sister Black. I fasted that day and really was just seeking answers about how we could better help these people and about how I could become better. And as always, Heavenly Father answered them. I felt a sense of peace and calm the whole time and I just felt my Heavenly Father telling me, "Don't give up, I know this is hard right now, but I need your whole heart for this 18 months, and I promise you I will bless you, and everything will work out." It was the most incredible answer I have ever gotten. And every time, I walk into the Celestial room, I am just reminded of how much I want this and how much it means to me to do everything I can to make it there with my family. I always feel the presence of my loved ones who are on the other side.  I love the temple so much and am so grateful that we got to go:)

Transfers are coming up this next week! It is crazy that this transfer is already over, I feel like it just started! Really have no idea what is going to happen. It is a little bit nerve wracking when you don't know what to expect. Our hike in the canyon last week was AWESOME! We hiked up to this huge waterfall and just had a blast. The weather has been so nice this week and I have enjoyed finally not wearing a jacket. President Curtis has just been so great and he is always helping me when I am having a hard time. He is a really great President. We have awesome assistants who care about us and are always willing to help. A midst the trials and hard times, I am so blessed to be a missionary in these last days. It is an incredible work and I know it is true with all my heart. I am grateful for the testimony that I have that keeps me strong through the rough waters. I finished the Book of Mormon this week! It is so different and so much more amazing when you understand it and really study it. The Book of Mormon is true, I know it. The story in Ether of the Brother of Jared and his people crossing the waters has become one of my favorite. Even though it was a hard and terrible journey, they never ceased to pray, and it says, "The terrible winds never ceased to blow them toward the promised land." Our trials are only going to help us get to our destination. I love the lesson that we learn from that story and the faith we can gain from it. I am just so grateful for this time in my life and for the Gospel. 

We are off on another hike to explore more waterfalls! I love P day and the fun things we get to do. I hope everyone has a great week! Also I was going to ask that you guys keep some of our investigators and people in your prayers, and pray for them by name, I would really appreciate it:) Jake, Kellie, Nancy, Cody, Amanda, Ryanne, Jessica, Elara, Elizabeth, Gabby, Kacie, Tia, Farrer Family, Jolene, Claborn Family. Thank you so much for all the love and support! I love this work and am so happy to be here. I miss you all like crazy. Know that I think of you and I pray for you and I love you all so much. Have an amazing week! Sending my love. 

xoxoxoxoxox Sister Bigs

Monday, April 14, 2014


Dear Family and Friends, 

With Easter coming up, we have been focusing a lot on the Atonement with our investigators, study time, and dinner messages. Our mission President put together a packet called the 40 day feast, and each day we get to read a talk or devotional, or scriptures about the Atonement. Reading these and focusing on it for the last month has changed my life so much. Not that any of us could ever fully comprehend what the Savior did for us, but just even understanding it that much more makes such a difference. The Atonement is real and I am so so so grateful for it. It is incredible to me that no matter what we have done in our lives, that Savior is always waiting with open arms to forgive us. And not only that, but it gives us the strength to overcome and enables us to become better each day. I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the many ways in which it blesses me everyday:)

Being a missionary has so many ups and downs all the time. When it's good, it's amazing, and when it's bad, it sucks! But that is all a part of being a missionary and learning and becoming the person the Lord wants you to be. What would a mission be without hard times and a bike ride in the snow every once in awhile?:) That actually happened! It was so nice and in the 70s all week long and then yesterday morning it started to snow! #idahoprobs. Haha. Things have kind of started to slow down here. Our investigators aren't progressing as they should and it is heartbreaking. But this is where the Lord makes up for when we fall short. We are going to go back to basics and talk about the importance of little things in staying on the right course and in helping have that desire. I hope that we can rely on the Spirit and know what we can do better to help these people. It is amazing because I have never felt such strong love for anyone in such a short amount of time. When you see these people as children of God, everything is different, and all you want for them is to be happy and the Gospel can do that. I am grateful for this learning experience that I have to learn to rely on my Father in Heaven during times of trial and the ways in which it helps me to become better. 

We didn't have a baptism this weekend. And that is okay and really a blessing in disguise! Jake just needs a little more time to learn and to really become converted and to understand the covenants he will be making. Baptism is a HUGE step especially for those that have to change every aspect of their lives and sometimes it just takes more time. He is doing okay and trying to stay strong through the process. Definitely hard, but I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for him and for each of us and I have trust that it will work out the way it is meant to. :)

We had a zone conference this week and it was so great! We learned about more effective planning and about how that can help our investigators. We also learned about finding people and that they need to trust you within the first few minutes. We had some role plays and really awesome council. We learned that in order to have one baptism a month, you need to have 10 new investigators each month, 6 at sacrament meeting each week, and 3 with a baptismal date. So that is Sister Ramsey and I's new goal! Our President is awesome and really inspired. It was fun to see other missionaries. We had BOMB lunch. But with Mormons I wouldn't expect any less. They gave us all little care packages. I am just so thankful for our mission presidency and office couples that look out for us and give us mom hugs when we need them. I love this work. It is truly hastening at this time and it is so amazing to be a part of it. Being a missionary is harder, but so much greater than I ever expected it to be! I love these people and there is no place I would rather be. 

Well, we are off to take a hike in the canyon with our Zone! Should be really fun. I really encourage all of you as this Easter week approaches to think and study about the Atonement and what it means to you. There truly was no greater sacrifice, nor greater gift and I am so grateful. Y'all are the best. I love and miss all of you more than you know and I pray for you each and every day! Thank you for all the love and support. I feel it and I appreciate it! Keep on keeping on. Heavenly Father is watching out for you and he loves you. Never forget it:)
Love, Sister Bigs

Monday, April 7, 2014

Best. Weekend. Ever.

Dear Family and Friends,

Dude. Conference was amazing. Best. weekend. ever. This week was just awesome and so many amazing things happened and I am just on cloud nine. Couldn't be happier! :) I hope everyone is doing well. Love hearing from you guys. 

So this week I was out of commission for a few days so I could recover. I slept for dayzzz and I feel so much better! Toward the end of the week I was ready to work hard and press forward! It was still super rainy and cold this week which is always fun on bikes! Sometimes I feel like a pioneer. I know that what I am doing doesn't even compare to what they did, but when we are trudging through the freezing cold rain and wind on our bikes, and it feels like we will never be warm again, I can't help but feel grateful. I know that being here on a mission is a sacrifice and I had to give up so much to be here, but it is so worth it, and the blessings far outweigh the trials and the sacrifices. I just think about the pioneers and how much they had to give up, yet they kept moving forward with faith in God and knowing that it was all worth it! Plus what would a mission be if there weren't hard times? We wouldn't learn anything or grow at all, or become the person Heavenly Father wants us to be! 

We have a baptism coming up on Saturday! Jake is doing awesome and we can't wait for him to take this first step. We had an incredible lesson with him, Kellie, and Bishop this week. We were teaching the commandments and were running short on time, so we were kind of just going through them quick. We were reviewing the law of chastity and I had the distinct impression to testify of the importance and the sacredness. Bishops testimony followed as well as Sister Ramsey's. It was so powerful and we were all in tears by the end. Since Kellie and Jake love each other it is so important for them to realize why God has asked us to do this since they have never lived the law of chastity in their lives. As I testified, I felt the Spirit testify so strongly to me about why this is so important. Marriage between a man and a woman truly is ordained of God. The ability and the power that God has given us to create families is among the most important gifts we have. I told them, "Just do it right the first time." As I talked about that, it reminded me of my goals and that I want to do it right and both me, and Kellie and Jake on are the right path to get there. When you do it right, it is even greater than we could have ever imagined. I never want to compromise that.  "In the sight of the Lord, it is not so much what we have done, or where we have been, but much more where we are willing to go. " -Edward Dube. I love that quote. Not only was I teaching them, but the Spirit was teaching me. I have always known the importance of it, but it is incredible when the Spirit confirms it to you so strongly. It is lessons like those that make all of this worth it. I have decided right here an now that I will never go back, but only go forward. I will not let ANYTHING get in the way of returning back to my Father in Heaven. I hope all of that made sense. Main point being, it was such an awesome lesson and I learned so much. 

Everyone else is doing really well! Like I say everytime, there is so much work and so much good happening. We had the opportunity to watch general conference with most of our investigators. Okay conference was AWESOME! Some of my favorites were Elder Anderson's talk about building your foundation on Christ and daring to stand alone. LOVED Richard G. Scott's talk about love and service. Missionary quote: "We all chose the Savior's plan before this life. Trust and have faith that the children of God will choose it again." We watched Priesthood session with an investigator and it was so good! Elder Oaks talked a lot about our roles and responsibilities as man and women together in the Priesthood. "Men are NOT the Priesthood, they hold it and have the authority to use it." Randall L. Ridd gave a great talk about how technology can help us instead of hurt us. He talked about being in the moment and how each click of the mouse determines the kind of person we are. Also Elder Uchtdorf encouraged us to "not be sleeping through the Restoration." and to be proactive in helping build up Gods kingdom. Elder Eyring talked about our Priesthood heroes and it made me so grateful for my daddy:) Elder Uchtdorf's talk about gratitude was awesome! "There are no endings in the Gospel, just everlasting beginnings/" Such a great reminder to always be grateful no matter what. M. Russell Ballard's talk about missionary work. #represent. I love how he encouraged everyone to get a preach my gospel and if you have a missionary out serving to include in your letters about what you are learning in Preach my Gospel. (Please do that, I would love it!:)) Elder Bednar gave an amazing talk about the Atonement and how we "shouldn't pray to change our circumstances, but pray for the strength to endure them." President Monson's talk about loving others was amazing. "Love is the very essence of the Gospel. Blame keeps wounds open. Only forgiveness heals."I loved Michael Teh's talk about what matters most in this life. AHH!! There were just so many great ones. I received so many answers to my questions and for my investigators. I noticed that each person, no matter what their talk was about, always brought it back and testified of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I loved it. I am so grateful for a living prophet and all of our inspired leaders. :)

I am just doing so great. I can't say it enough, but I love it! This week was awesome and conference was exactly what I needed! I am happy. And I love this work so much. I love you all. I am so grateful for my testimony that is built on the foundation of Christ and that it gets me through the hard times. There is nothing more important in this life. As mom always says, "the most important thing in a spouse is a strong testimony.":) Have a great week everyone! Thank you for all the love and support. Sending my love. 

xoxoxoxox Sister Bigs